They’re back! After an excruciating 3 year wait, Avenged Sevenfold have returned to bless our ears with an awesome new song; ‘The Stage’. With this slightly longer – but by no means tedious – track of 8 minutes, A7X have silenced any fans that were skeptical of the bands next move following the slightly less successful 2013 album Hail to the King, as well as the switch from Arin Ilejay on the drums to Brook Wackerman.
‘The Stage’ features a perfect balance of vocals vs instrumentals, with the latter clearly designed to show off the new talent of Wackerman. The first 35 seconds of the song builds up that anticipation (as if we needed any more!) before Gates’ guitar hits, shortly followed by an impressive drum sequence from Wackerman. A minute more and we finally get Shadow’s vocals coming in, leading the song down its lyrically sinister path.
In true A7X fashion (see: ‘Critical Acclaim’), we have a song that shamelessly critiques the destructive nature of human behaviour; ‘we’re simply sociopaths with no communication baby’. Many recent releases in metal have brought to light the idea of corrupt governments and pointless wars, yet these guys do so with irony and sarcastic humour rather than pure anger. This is achieved through lines like ‘when did the walking apes decide that nuclear war/Was now the only solution for them keeping the score?’ where we see a mockery of those we’re supposed to fear.
With a creepy – thus perfectly fitting – music video to match, A7X have more than delivered on this first single and I’m expecting even greater things to come from the rest of their new album, Voltaic Oceans (releasing in December!). Good job, guys.